Image Credit: jacoblund via iStock
Starting a photography business is tough work. Starting any business is tough work, for that matter!
You can't just open your doors and expect people to come flocking to you to take their picture.
Instead, you need to have a comprehensive marketing plan that gets your name and face out in the buying public.
The question is, what should your marketing plan include?
Here's a few tips for devising a rock-solid marketing strategy to get your photography business off the ground.
You Need the Basics
Image Credit: Anchiy via iStock
Clearly, in today's world you have to have an online presence.
By and large, potential clients will find you online, be that via your website or online portfolio, your Facebook page or Twitter feed, or on places like Instagram or Flickr.
But simply having a website and social media channels isn't good enough.
Instead, they need to work together to help drive home your marketing message.
That means having a website that's not only pleasing to view, but easy to navigate as well.
You want a portfolio that is well-designed, but which allows your images to take center stage without being overshadowed by an overly fancy website design.
With regards to social media, you need to consistently engage with your followers to get the most bang for your marketing buck.
That means setting aside time each day to post, comment on other people's posts, and interact with people that follow you.
This doesn't mean that you need to devote an entire afternoon to social media - just a few minutes a day to stay active will suffice.
Get more tips on how to use social media to your advantage in the video above by Joe Edelman.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
Image Credit: jacoblund via iStock
While it's incredibly important to have examples of work to show potential clients, it's also a smart move to demonstrate to potential clients your particular areas of expertise.
That is, don't just show people the final product and say "look how awesome I am." Instead, by demonstrating your expertise, you give people the proof they might need to trust you as a true professional.
Demonstrating your expertise is easier today than ever before, too.
On the one hand, you can blog about photography topics. Write a post about how clients should prepare for their engagement shoot. Offer advice to parents for what to expect during their newborn photo shoot. Explain to people why they shouldn't wear clothes with busy patterns for their family portraits. You get the point...
On the other hand, YouTube is a perfect marketing tool for photographers where they can demonstrate their expertise.
Whether you publish a Lightroom tutorial, do a behind-the-scenes video of shooting a wedding, or something in between, creating videos that explain what you do and why is an ideal way to connect with potential clients and show them just how skilled and talented you are as a photographer.
Heck, you can even offer classes or workshops for photographers to learn basic skills.
The point here is that offering to share your expertise with others benefits you in many ways. It allows you to market your brand. You can make connections with potential clients. You can also make connections with others in the industry and develop professional relationships that help your business grow.
Put Your Name On It
It's not enough to put your work on display or demonstrate how you go about creating the gorgeous photos in your portfolio.
You also need to identify your work as your own.
Doing so benefits you in two very important ways. First, adding a photography logo or photography watermark to your images helps reduce the risk that someone will rip off your images and pass them off as their own.
Secondly, adding your signature to your images is a great marketing strategy.
A great marketing strategy has an identifiable and unique theme, and what better way to do that than with a custom-made, bespoke photography logo?
I've come across a variety of companies over the years that offer photography logo design services for photographers. And historically, I've been underwhelmed by their products.
Also underwhelming was the signature I came up with for my photos, which you can see above. A graphic designer, I am not...
So I did a little more research recently and stumbled upon Photologo. I was sold within moments of seeing their products.
For starters, Photologo employs a group of professional artists who handcraft each and every signature.
Yep, you read that correctly - Photologo's photography watermarks are 100-percent made by human hands, and no two are alike!
Talk about a unique way to market your photography business...
Additionally, the process of getting your Photologo couldn't be easier. You just visit their website, make a few selections regarding the style of the photography logo that you want, and the busy bees at Photologo craft your signature, which is delivered to you for review in as little as two days.
If you don't like what you get, no worries - Photologo offers a free revision, that way you're sure that your signature is exactly what you want. I quite like mine, seen below:
Look at any famous artwork from back in the day, and you'll find the artist's unique signature.
What Photologo has done is made it easy for modern-day artists like you and I to add our signature to our work.
And since your Photologo is yours and yours alone, you can use it as the basis of your marketing plan.
Add it to your website or portfolio, use it to sign off at the end of each blog, add it to your YouTube video intro, and so forth.
Standing out in an ocean of photographers can be tough to do, but with a unique, one-of-a-kind photography logo serving as the basis of your marketing plan, your task of differentiating yourself from the crowd becomes much, much easier.